Deadline for submission of abstracts is June 15. Selected Abstracts will be invited to submit full papers. All papers will be published online as BICAS working paper and will be uploaded on to the conference website and might be selected for a Special Issue of the Journal of Peasant Studies.
Acknowledgement of the enormity of the many socio-environmental, agricultural, food, health and related ‘planetary emergencies’ confronting us today has provoked a growing chorus of calls for urgent action. In the face of such urgency, it seems that there is less and less (obvious) time for pause and reflection. Moreover, both from within and directed at the social sciences, there are many who argue that it is time to dispense with or move beyond critique. From Latour’s 2004 question ‘has critique run out of steam?’ to more recent commentary, it may seem that the value of critique and critical thinking is no longer obvious, even in many social sciences. Instead, we are told, we must focus our attention on identifying and formulating constructive alternatives and/or solutions to the planetary emergencies currently haunting us.
Next to the plenary programme there will be 60 workshops in four parallel sessions on four themes: 1. Agroecology, soil & permaculture; 2. Short chains and urban farming; 3. Fair agriculture and trade policies; 4. Access to land and land rights. You can download the full programme and guidelines on how to register yourself. There is a special programme for kids, so you can take them along.
The plenary programme offers inspiring key note speakers from home and abroad: e.g. Irene Cardoso (Chair of the Brazilian Agroecology Association, Professor of Soil Science), Jyoti Fernandes (farmer and member of La Via Campesina Europe), Sieta Keimpema (Dutch Dairymen Board), Jonathan Karpathios (Greek- Dutch chef, food blogger and gardener), Olivier De Schutter (IPES-Food), Jocelyn Parot (Urgenci), Maryam Rahmanian (FAO) and Jan Douwe van der Ploeg (Wageningen University).
Reclaim the Seeds is a special co-event on Saturday, from 10.00-17.00 in the Forum building.
The Rural Sociology Group supports the Food Otherwise Conference. Jan Douwe van der Ploeg (professor Transition Studies) contributes on Saturday with an overall reflection and convenes a workshop on ‘Gebiedscooperaties: zelfsturing en autonomie’ with speakers from the Northern Frisian Woodlands and Province of Friesland.
On behalf of the Rural Sociology I’m having a seat in the Advisory Board of the RETHINK: a transdisciplinary research project supported by the European Commission and funding bodies in 14 countries under the umbrella of FP7 and the RURAGRI ERA-NET. The RETHINK Final conference will take place in Brussels, December 2, 2015. It will be an interesting event with a final reflection by:
Rob Peters, Head Unit ‘Research & Innovation’ of DG Agri;
Christiane Canenbley, Unit ‘Agricultural Policy Analysis and
Perspectives’ of DG Agri
Egizio Valceschini, Director of Research at L’Institut National de la
Recherche Agronomique (INRA), representating the RURAGRI ERA network
Is culture truly a ‘fourth’ pillar of sustainability alongside ecology, society and economy? Or is it more central, more fundamental, more essential? How does culture act as a catalyst for ecological sustainability, human well-being and economic viability? What would our futures look like if sustainability was embedded within culture in all of its multiple dimensions, including different worldviews and values, ways of life, and other forms of cultural expression? A cultural transition that embeds sustainability in the cultural understandings and daily practices of society has the power to shift humanity’s currently unsustainable trajectory.
Culture plays many roles in (un)sustainability, but the scientific, policy-making and societal spheres have lacked understanding of the essence of culture in sustainability. During a four-year period (2011-2015) European research network Investigating Cultural Sustainability (www.culturalsustainability.eu) has sought out state of the art and radical research across Europe and beyond. The network has highlighted this research in order to provide researchers and policymakers with instruments for integrating culture as a key element of sustainable development.
The main results of the work are:
• A final report: “Culture in, for and as Sustainable Development” summarizing the conclusions of the work and introducing three roles of culture in sustainable development: www.culturalsustainability.eu/outputs/conclusions.pdf
• a new book series, Routledge Studies in Culture and Sustainability and its first three volumes draw directly from the Action’s work, focusing on culture and sustainability in European cities, heritage and regional development: http://www.routledgementalhealth.com/books/series/RSCSD/
• an international transdisciplinary conference Culture(s) in Sustainable Futures: theories, policies, practices in Helsinki 6-8 May, 2015 at which the results of the Action were discussed by almost 300 scholars and practitioners. On the website you can find an overview of the sessions and streamed registrations of the plenary sessions, student’ reflections, the list of abstracts and the list of participants: http://www.culturalsustainability.eu/helsinki2015/programme. Lummina Horlings of the RSO group organised a session on Values in Place and gave a presentation during the plenary session on Culture in Sustainable Futures (starting at minute 36): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jItM_Hd_SAg&feature=youtu.be
Altogether 100 researchers from 25 countries within the EU with additional participants from Israel, Albania, New Zealand, and Australia contributed to the work in different ways. The network incorporated a wide variety of disciplines and fields of research, ranging from cultural, humanistic and social sciences, through political and natural sciences, to planning. The profiles and research interests of the members are introduced in the publication, Investigating Cultural Sustainability: Experts and Multidisciplinary Approaches: www.culturalsustainability.eu. The work was co-ordinated by the University of Jyväskylä and supported by the European COST Association (Cooperation in Science and Technology), which is funded within the European Commission’s research programme Horizon 2020.
At the upcoming Resilient Cities conference of ICLEI (the international network of local governments for sustainability) a special Urban Food Forum will be organized by ICLEI and RUAF in collaboration with the SUPURBFOOD program. The Resilient Cities conference will take place from 8 – 10 June in Bonn (Germany): for more information about the program, click on this link. The Urban Food Forum will take place on Wednesday 10 June 2015.
The Forum will feature a Panel with city leaders on good practices for managing resilient city-region food systems. Participants will include representatives from cities such as Cape Town, Nairobi, Ghent, Amman, Medellin, and Walvis Bay. A SUPURBFOOD supported policy brief and the Urban Agriculture Magazine special issue on city region food systems will be presented.
Following the opening session, two technical sessions will be held. The first, organized in cooperation with GIZ, will focus on Planning resilient food systems at an urban and metropolitan scale with speakers from UNEP, GIZ, and START with a discussion on how to operationalize the water-urban-food energy nexus. The second will examine the role of small and medium enterprises in urban food system development and will feature innovative SMEs working in the field of city region food systems from the cities of Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Riga (Latvia), Vigo (Spain) and Bristol (UK).
The 7th Aesop Sustainable Food Planning (SFP) Conference entitled “Localizing Urban Food Strategies: Farming cities and performing rurality” will take place in Torino (Italiy) from 7 to 9 October 2015.
Localizing urban food strategies refers to embedding sustainable food planning issues in place and in time within each specific local context. Moreover, by targeting planners, agronomists, designers, geographers, administrators, activists etc. engaged in the urban food debate, Farming cities and performing rurality aims at representing a platform for the development of fruitful perspectives for sustainable food planning policies and practices.
On the one hand, Farming cities refers to the development of innovative roles for agricultural production in and around the city, approaching in a structural manner the way agricultural issues are dealt (or should be dealt) with in contemporary urban policies. On the other hand, Performing rurality considers urban food strategies as a tool to define a cooperating relationship between the urban and the rural, reversing in terms of equality the traditional ideological subordination of the countryside to the city.
The activities of the Conference will be articulated around the following tracks: (i) Spatial planning and urban design, (ii) Governance and private entrepreneurship, (iii) Relevant experiences and practices, (iv) Training and jobs, (v) Flows and networks. There will be a specific activity for PhD students and young scholars.
Abstracts for one of the aforementioned tracks can be submitted until the 31st of May via the submission form on the conference website.
The programme committee of the Agriculture in an Urbanizing Society Conference, which will take place in Rome (Italy) from 14-17 September 2015, has opened the call for abstracts. Abstracts can be submitted through the conference system EasyChairuntil 31 March 2015 for one of the following 23 working groups (click on the working group for description and convenors or download pdf (500 KB)):
After a positive evaluation of the abstract the author will be asked to upload a paper of max 10 pages which will be published online on the website of the conference. There will also be the possibility to submit a short paper of max 2 pages enabling the authors to still publish their results in peer reviewed journals after the conference. Short papers will be published in a book of proceedings. The procedures for the papers will be published on the conference website soon.